In a time when you might be forgiven for thinking you are in a timewarp, Evander Holyfield takes on South African Francois Botha for the lightly regarded WBF Heavyweight title this evening.Originally intended for Uganda in January, the fight now moves to the more familiar surroundings of Las Vegas.
Holyfield, now 47, is a guaranteed future hall of famer with nothing to prove. A former Cruiserweight champion and four time heavyweight champion, his place in the hall is safe.Undefeated in his professional career until losing his World Heavyweight title to Riddick Bowe in a memorable bout in 1992, Holyfield is making yet another bid to capture a World Title of some mention.After losing his title to Bowe, Holyfield would regain his crown against all odds one year later in 1993.That has been the story of Holyfield's career.
Defeating the odds. Given no chance in 1996, he defeated Mike Tyson in 11 heartstopping rounds to win the title for a third time. At that time, only Muhammad Ali had held that distinction.Since losing a unification rematch to Lennox Lewis in 1999, Holyfield's career has taken a nosedive. Fighters who Holyfield would have easily defeated in his prime were now too hot to handle for "The Real Deal".In the new millennium, he has split a three fight series with John Ruiz, lost to a former Middleweight in James Toney and been outworked and outpointed by the likes of Chris Byrd, Larry Donald and Sultan Ibragimov.
In his last fight in December 2008, Holyfield fought well before losing a disputed decision for the WBA belt to the giant Nikolay Vauluev. That once great undefeated record now has 10 defeats on it.In Frans Botha, Holyfield also meets a man who's better days were in the 90's. A former IBF champion, his biggest fight was in 1996 when in a brave effort he lost a bid to regain his IBF title to a then red hot Michael Moorer.
Two more losing title efforts would follow in the new millennium against Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko.To be honest, its a fight that I would not see happen. However as perverse as this sport is, I will probably watch the bout. Had the fight taken place in the 90's then I would undoubtedly go for a convincing Holyfield win. In 2010,I just dont know but I hope "The Real Deal" can eventually end his career on a win. Oh, and for those who do you wish to watch it here in the UK, it's being shown on a Pay Per View basis, such is the sport.